Monthly Archives: July 2008

The Terrorists Have Disappeared

I’ve kept my eye out for any more information on the Turkistan Islamic Party and so far the only piece of news that I’ve come across in the Chinese blogosphere is this post from Michael of Opposite End of China.

Michael like me doesn’t see much truth behind the group’s claims, but he also had stories from the South China Morning Post in the post I linked to above. The second stories has a source that says maybe the Chinese government or the Xinjiang provincial government was behind this video so they can justify a crackdown in Xinjiang.

But to be honest I am not sure that the Chinese government is behind it either. So who is?

J.

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So China has Islamic Terrorists Now?

Last week I wrote a post on Lost Laowai wondering about how China defined terrorism. I wondered why China wasn’t declaring the Kuming bus bombings a terrorist act even if it was done by someone with a local grievance. When I wrote it I was just thinking out loud, but then last night I discovered this post on Shanghaiist. It looks like the Turkestan Islamic Party, a terror group (if it’s really a political party would be illegal in China) claimed responsibility in a Youtube video for last week’s Kuming bus bombing as well as the bus bombing incident in Shanghai in May.

Maybe I am being to skeptical about this, but like the blogger behind The New Dominion I don’t really buy it. Why is this group making a claim to the Shanghai bus bombing two months after it happened? The police also said that while both the events in Kuming and Shanghai were intentional, they didn’t appear to be terrorist acts. Nothing has been reported about the TIP’s video in official state media — I’ve seen reports of it on Hong Kong TV though (I haven’t checked CNN or the BBC).

The second question I have is who is the audience this group is trying to reach? The two Youtube videos I’ve seen from the group are all in Arabic Uyghur without Chinese or English subtitles. The fact that there is no Chinese subtitles in the videos make me think that these videos are aimed at people in the Middle East. I don’t if the group’s goal is to get funding for their cause or to reach out to other militant groups such as Al Qaeda. But I don’t think the videos are for Chinese viewers.

I haven’t heard that these videos were posted on Chinese websites. I am sure if they were site censors would probably take them home, but again the group went to Youtube an international site (the videos appeared on the Japanese version) not a Chinese one. So is this group trying to terrorize Chinese or the world? I would assume it’s the Chinese, but the way they are going about it make me doubt the group’s aims. Either that or their media relations plan is screwy.

I’m going to keep watching and blogging on this.

J.

Update: The New Dominion is reporting that the video is in Uyghur not Arabic (see the comment below). Their site is also saying the video has been reported by Xinhua and AFP.

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Roger’s New Summer Hair Cut

I know it’s been way too long since I posted any photos of Roger, our dog here. He got a summer hair cut and looks much bigger than the last time I posted photos of him. As you can see he’s a bit of a camera hound.

Enjoy

J.

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China’s Young Neo-Conservatives

Anyone who wants to learn more about the young Chinese nationalists that were behind much of the anti-CNN backlash around the time of March’s T1bet riots should read Evan Osnos’ piece in this week’s New Yorker. It paints an interesting and far account of some of China’s young conservatives in Shanghai. If anyone who is wondering who the next generation of Chinese leaders are going to be it’s these guys.
Enjoy

J.

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How to Turn My Week Around

WIth all the frustration I’ve been going through on the Olympic editorial I’ve been writing it’s felt like a less than successful week work wise. That changed today not cause I finally got the editorial right — we’ve switched to looking at the Olympics as a way to share Chinese culture so I’ll be taking one more stab at it tomorrow — but because I got a good comment from my boss on another issue. He was happy that I was able to get our company an opportunity to submit an article to the magazine of the Beijing branch of the British Chamber of Commerce in China. That one comment turned my week around.

And tonight I got invited to a new Gubei this weekend thing are looking up.

J.

PS Here’s a link to my latest Lost Laowai post.

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Filed under Cubicle/Nerd Culture, Personal, Reading List

I Could Use A Little Escapism

Well as I mentioned in my last post, I’m a little fed up with the Olympics right now. It’s not that I’ve got anything against the Olympics. I just have an Olympic-sized enormous Olympics hangover from all the coverage that it’s getting in the news here (as it should) and from working on this Olympics issue of our company newsletter.

I’ve just rewritten our editorial for the third time in two days and I hope I got the tone the way I want it this time. For some reason writing an opinion piece on a blog is much easier for me than it is to write an editorial for professional media. I always found them difficult to do when I worked in journalism and I am finding them difficult to write now. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I am writing in the paper’s voice and not in my own (as a columnist does) that is the problem or whether I am just not a great opinion writer.

But enough complaints. It’s time like this I turned to a good novel to escape a writing rut. I always thought that was slacking off but I was surprised to see that according to this article in The Globe and Mail it’s actually a good idea for me to do that. I’ll be refreshed later and have a better grip on a situation and my writing. Why not try it yourself. But before you do be sure to check out my latest book review at Lost Laowai — the review of Jan Wong’s Beijing Confidential has been submitted and will hopefully be published in That’s Beijing soon.

J.

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A China-free Summer Reading List

Recently I’ve really been enjoying two Canadian literary blogs, Seen Reading and the Quillblog. Seen Reading is about what one writers sees Canadians reading while the other is from a respected Canadian literary journal. All the books they discuss sound so great that I just want to go out and buy as many Canadian authors as possible. But Shanghai isn’t known for having much CanLit. Plus even if it did, books are expensive and I would just spend all my money on them I already have too many books on my shelves. So it got me looking at what’s there and making a book list for the next month or so. Here it is:

  1. Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctorine
  2. Ian McEwan’s Atonement
  3. John Updike’s Terrorist
  4. Jiang Rong’s Wolf Totem
  5. Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys

You’ll notice that there’s only one China book there. I’ve kind of had my fill of China topics for now. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I deal with different aspects of the country everyday at my job or the fact that I spent most of my day writing an editorial for our company newsletter on the Olympics, but I need a break from it for awhile. Right now, I’m going to finish up some projects I’ve got in the pipeline (a book review of the memoir A Year Without Made in China for Lost Laowai and one on Jan Wong’s Beijing Confidential for That’s Beijing) then I am going to take a rest from China for a week or so. After that I should be ready to come back and tackle it again.

J.

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